North suburban special ed school employee charged with battery of student

A 35-year-old employee of the Special Education District of Lake County is accused of using excessive force against a 7-year-old student.

Justin Cole, of Kenosha, Wisconsin, faces a count of misdemeanor battery in the Feb. 27 incident, the Lake County sheriff’s office said in a statement.

Cole was in an intervention office with the 7-year-old boy when the child pushed Cole, the sheriff’s office said.

Cole responded by picking up a pillow and allegedly striking the boy in the head, using the pillow as a barrier between the boy’s head and Cole’s hand, the sheriff’s office said. The boy fell to the ground and cried.

The Lake County state’s attorney’s office obtained an arrest warrant for Cole on March 27, the sheriff’s office said.

Cole surrendered to police three days later, and was released on his own recognizance, the sheriff’s office said.

He is due in court again May 14.